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Taking the long view at Blackhorse Avenue in D7

31 Belleview Blackhorse Avenue Dublin 7 Asking price: €475,000 Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 820 1800

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The open-plan living area

The open-plan living area

The exterior of the house

The exterior of the house

The kitchen area

The kitchen area

The dining area

The dining area

One of the bedrooms

One of the bedrooms

Deer at Phoenix Park

Deer at Phoenix Park

The Hole in the Wall pub

The Hole in the Wall pub

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The open-plan living area

At over 100m from one end to the other, the Hole in the Wall is Europe's longest pub bar none, says its owner Martin McCaffrey. It's also one of the oldest pubs in Ireland.

The Tudor complex which runs through a number of adjoining buildings and actually curves with the run of the road, was originally built in the 16th century when Elizabeth I was on the British throne. Around about the time when Charles I lost his head in 1649, it became a pub and a tavern, serving pints and providing hospitality for travellers heading into Dublin.

It's original name was the somewhat cumbersome 'Ye Sign Of Ye Blackhorse Inn'. In days when most travellers couldn't read, tavern owners identified and distinguished their pitches with pictorial signs. This pub carried a picture of the head of a black horse.

But its modern name stems from a period from the 1890s to the early 1920s when British soldiers at McKee Barracks in the Phoenix Park were partial to skiving off for a quick pint. To save them from deserting, the owner served them through a hole in the wall.

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The dining area

The dining area

Today it's something of an institution, not just for its lengthy dimensions, but also its legendary Christmas decorations which take a full month to put up. These have made it something of a seasonal pilgrimage for pinters.

It's also noted for gourmet food as well as being home to a number of clubs and societies, not least its own cycling, running and wine clubs. For these reasons, lots of people would love to have the longest pub as their local.

The owner of 31 Belleville, a 1990s estate off the Blackhorse Avenue, has perhaps learned a thing or two from the Hole in the Wall when it comes to extending narrow spaces and making them feel hospitable and open.

He acquired the 1990's-built estate house in 2014 and straight away extended it significantly at the back. Restricted by the width of the terrace design, he simply changed the original layout to provide one big bright open- plan area on the ground floor, aside from the hall which he kept as is.

The kitchen was cleverly moved to the front of the house where it can be accessed as soon as you come in the door, the cabinets situated up against the dividing wall with the adjoining house, thus leaving most of the floor here open, airy and uncluttered.

A television executive, who works in the city centre, he has shown those considering the purchase of a narrow home not only how to extend with style, but also how to organise, furnish and light such a space to get the very most out of it.

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The kitchen area

The kitchen area

The biggest problem with extending a narrow home in the conventional way is that the centre rooms become darkened.

But here as you walk down though the open-plan living space from the original front end and into the new extension, it somehow seems to open up even more. That's thanks to another little trick of perception, the use of a higher ceiling in the extension end. Deploying some large velux windows overhead in the new portion also keeps the entire resplendent in natural light with the double-glazed doors at the end taking your eye all the way through and into the garden.

The house at 31 Belleville provides an inspirational plan not only for the extension of a modern terrace estate home like this one which is becoming more widespread as developers maximise land, but also for former Corpo terraces and Edwardian and Victorian two-up two-downs which have enough rear space out back to extend.

The owner is now selling the property with plans to move into the city to be closer to work.

The house is located near the Ashtown Gates of the Phoenix Park and Ashtown Station for transport needs.

A number of regular bus routes service the avenue.

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The exterior of the house

The exterior of the house

The transformation four years ago also took the energy rating up to BER B3 which is decent for a house of this age. The kitchen comes with integrated AEG oven, integrated microwave, four-ring gas hob and extractor fan, open plan leading to living dining area.

Upstairs there are three double bedrooms and surprisingly, three bathrooms. Bedroom one and two offer ensuites with showers while there's also a self-contained family bathroom with a tub. The extension has also left a decent sized rear garden which is uncluttered, paved and landscaped around the edges to minimise maintenance and maximise entertaining potential during summer evenings.

For those who like their bit of outdoors space, it's also located right across the road from the Phoenix Park, which, with its 1,700 acres, holds another European record; that of the largest enclosed park in a European capital. Aside from miles of scenic walks, it also has its famous wild deer and those with children also have the benefit of Dublin Zoo. If the weather's bad there's always the 100m- long indoor hospitality to relax in at the Hole in the Wall.

Sherry FitzGerald is seeking to stretch €475,000 from those who want to take a long view at this central address.

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